Filtering for Agents

If you have a large number of agents, you might wonder how you can quickly locate a specific agent. The Manage Agents page enables you to sort agents by any of the displayed property values (NameEmail, and Role). In addition to that, the Manage Agents page also lets you use unique character strings to filter your agents by name and/or by email address.

 
Note. Although the Console uses the term “search,” you can’t search for agents the same way that you search for user profiles. For example, you can’t write a query similar to this:
Because of that, in this documentation we’ll use the term “filter” instead of search.

For example, suppose you have a list of agents that looks like this:

How do we find an agent (or specified set of agents) in that list. Let’s find out. For starters, type the letter m in the Search agents field. What happens when you do that? In this example, nothing happens:

So why didn’t anything happen? There’s a good reason for that: if you look closely, you’ll see that all of the agents have the letter m somewhere in either their name or their email address. And that’s what the agent search feature is all about: finding character strings within a name or an email address. When we type the letter m in the search field, we’re telling the Console, “Show us all the agents who have the letter m somewhere – anywhere – in either their name or their email address.” And that’s exactly what the Console has done. For better or worse, we just happened to pick a letter that appears in either the name or email address of each of our agents.

Now type the letter p after the letter m. When you do that, two of the agents (the two agents who do not have the string value mp anywhere in their name or email address) will no longer be displayed:

Now you see how filtering works.

If you add the @ symbol to your search string you’ll see that – well, you’ll see that nothing happens then, either. That’s because both of the remaining agents have the string value mp@ in their email address. But if you type mp@j in the Search agents field, you’ll be left with the one agent whose email address (or name) contains that character string:

With just a few keystrokes, we were able to locate this one agent account. And this technique would have worked even if we had had 400 agents instead of just 4.

To restore the default display, and to view all the agents again, simply delete the text from the Search agents field.

If aren’t totally sure what this all means, here’s a quick summary: when you type a letter in the Search agents field, the Console looks for that letter anywhere in the agent’s email address or name. As we just saw, if you type the letter m, all of the agents are displayed, because they all meet the search criteria:

  • Toni Ng (toni.luc.ng@gmail.com)
  • Li Song (li.song74@yahoo.com)
  • Michael (gmichaelstemp@gmail.com)
  • Greg Stemp (greg.stemp@janrain.com)

When you type the string mp, we’re left with two agents, both of whom have mp somewhere in their name or email address:

  • G Michael (gmichaelstemp@gmail.com)
  • Greg Stemp (greg.stemp@janrain.com)

And when we add the characters @j, well, mission accomplished:

  • Greg Stemp (greg.stemp@janrain.com)

Before you ask, no, there’s no way to limit the returned data to names or email addresses that start or end with the letter m. The Console always searches for the specified character/character string anywhere in the name or email address.

Note. Not even if you use wildcards? That’s actually a moot question, because wildcards aren’t supported when looking for agents. In fact, if you type an asterisk or a question mark, the Console will look for users who have an actual asterisk (*) or question mark (?) in their name or email address.

Basic search looks for the target characters in both the agent name and the agent email address; there’s no way around that. However, you can filter just by name or just by email address by using Advanced Search. Does that help? Well, it might. For example, suppose you’d like to view all the agents who have the letter a in their name. If you type an a on the basic search page, nothing happens:

Again, that’s because all four agents have the letter a in either their name or their email address. This time, however, click Advanced Search, type an a in the Name field, and then click Search. Here’s what you’ll see:

Now only one agent is displayed: the one agent who has the letter a in his name. The other three agents, who have the letter a in their email address but not in their name, have disappeared.

Another way to filter agents is to display only agents that have been sent invitations but haven’t registered yet. That can be done by selecting Show pending invitations only:

To show all the agents again, clear the checkbox. Keep in mind, however, that you can’t do the inverse here: you can’t hide the invitation-pending agents and display only registered agents. At best, you can click Role to sort agents by role. That won’t suppress the display of the unregistered agents, but it will group all those agents together (because none of them have a role until they register).